A majority of companies take more than six business days to complete their accounting close. Taking more than one business week to close the books prevents companies’ decision-makers from being able to act promptly on critical information. It shortens the time available for a more thorough analysis of results and, especially for public companies, crafting narratives for external financial reporting. Companies that are able to close within a business week are more likely to use technology to automate processes and connect systems. Affordable software can automate these repetitive processes, accelerate the close and give finance professionals more time to apply their expertise to important matters of judgment. Organizations should evaluate such systems and build a business case that persuades notoriously hesitant finance executives to make the investment.